Tri-Cities Fever coach Adam Shackleford didn’t want to get into a shootout with the visiting Cedar Rapid Titans on Saturday night, but that is just what he got and somehow the Fever still survived beating the Titans 70-68 in an Indoor Football League game at the Toyota Center.
“I didn’t want a shootout because I didn’t know if we had the experience at both quarterback and other positions to match Cedar Rapids,” Shackleford said.
But rookie quarterback Dante Warren came through, scoring three touchdowns in the second half and passing for another to lead the Fever to the victory.
But it was special teams that proved key to the Fever winning this game.
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Down 30-14 in the second quarter, the Fever forced two fumbles on consecutive kickoffs. After recovering the first fumble, Warren hit Tre Young on a 12-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 30-23. On the ensuing kickoff, Keithon Flemming pounced on the loose ball in the end zone for another touchdown to tie the game at 30-30.
In all the Fever scored 16 in 25 seconds in the final minute of the first half.
The victory gives the Fever a 3-6 record and keeps their playoff hopes alive.
In the third quarter, the Fever scored 12 points right after halftime. Flemming scored on a 19-yard touchdown run, and then for the third time of the night the Fever recovered another fumble off of a kickoff return.
On the ensuing series, Warren connected with Flemming for a 6-yard touchdown pass to give Tri-Cities a 44-33 lead.
The Fever heads to Wyoming next Saturday for a road game against the Cavalry. The two teams have split their first two games, Wyoming won 38-36 last month and Tri-Cities won 57-31 at the Toyota Center.